Trick Dog (address and info)
San Francisco, CA
Caitlin Laman blew up on the national scene in 2014, when she proceeded to win both the national title in Speed Rack and be named as Food & Wine's best new mixologist. Admittedly, I felt a little bit of whatever it is the hip kids feel when their favorite band goes mainstream, as I'd been privy to Caitlin's exceptional mix of skill, humor, and freakish speed for a long time at Trick Dog. I kind of liked having it all to myself.
No. 308 (address and info)
In an underrated cocktail city like Nashville, there's a lot of talent if you know where to look, but one of the most famous liquor luminaries is undoubtedly Ben Clemons. His bar, No. 308, shook up the Nashville scene in 2010 with its selection of sangria cocktail jars, Mexican Coke-and-peanut bourbon cocktails, and shots named for famous boozers like Bukowski -- all of which are a nod to the owner's Miami and NYC nightlife pedigrees. And though he was only runner-up in Bombay Sapphire's World's Most Imaginative Bartender competition, he's still 100% better at mixing cocktails than you are.